The Hippo


May 24, 2020








New law helps protect elderly and disabled from scams

A new law designed to protect the elderly and impaired or disabled adults went into effect on Jan. 1, calling out crimes that range from misdemeanors to Class A felonies.
State Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester, one of the bill’s sponsors, says the elderly have long been the subject of perpetrators in Manchester and around the state. Many, he said, are targeted by phone, where the caller pretends to be from a company or organization and demands money or asks for personal information, like a social security number.
According to the law, if a criminal takes more than $1,500 from an elderly person or impaired or disabled adult, the crime is a Class A felony. If over $1,000 is taken but less than $1,500, it is a Class B felony. Criminals taking less than $1,000 will be charged with a misdemeanor. Additionally, the law says if a criminal is convicted, he will be required to pay full restitution of the fund, assets or property.
D’Allesandro said that while there was an old law on the books, the new one is more substantial.
“We now have some teeth that will help us in addressing these perpetrators. We will punish them, and we will put them away for their deviant behavior,” D’Allesandro said.
He said that because the Granite State has the third-oldest population in the country, preying on the elderly has become very pronounced. Beyond that, D’Allesandro said, New Hampshire has a large French-speaking population, drawing the attention of Canadian criminals. 
Along with the elderly-targeted crimes, D’Allesandro said the law is also designed to protect people with physical disabilities. He noted, for example, housing in the Queen City, across the street from West High School, which is designed for people with disabilities — and criminals know it.
“Our idea is to protect people from this kind of abuse and this kind of crime. This kind of crime is becoming pervasive,” D’Allesandro said. “We want [these criminals] off our streets. We want to discourage this. You can’t cure everything, but it gives us the opportunity to do more. We want to protect our citizens.” 
As seen in the January 22, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

One law off the books, one on
Adultery no longer illegal in NH


It is no longer against the law to commit adultery in New Hampshire. The repeal of the centuries-old law went into effect Jan. 1. 

Previously, adultery was considered a misdemeanor. The Criminal Code read: “A person is guilty of a class B misdemeanor if, being a married person, he engages in sexual intercourse with another not his spouse or, being unmarried, engages in sexual intercourse with another known by him to be married.”
Adultery was punishable by up to a $1,200 fine, according to the Live Free or Die Alliance.
Former State Rep. Tim O’Flaherty, D-Manchester, was one of the bill’s two sponsors.
“There was an adultery statute back in the New Hampshire province days. I think there has always been a crime of adultery, until now,” O’Flaherty said in a phone interview. “I don’t think that anyone has been prosecuted for the crime of adultery for a long time, so it doesn’t make a substantial change, but it is one fewer crime that is on the books in New Hampshire.”
O’Flaherty said the change is symbolic more than anything. 
“I was making the point that the current state of the law is discriminatory between heterosexual and homosexual marriages,” O’Flaherty said. 
He said that according to a New Hampshire Supreme Court ruling, there has to be the potential to produce offspring for an infidelity to be considered adultery.
Daniel J. Hammond, 53, of Nottingham, opposed the repeal last year. He said a virtually identical bill passed the House but was defeated in the Senate in 2010. Hammond testified before the Senate Committee in 2010 and in both the House and Senate in 2014. 
“The state puts a lot of value on the institution of marriage. It makes sense to me that they would outlaw actions that are injurious to something that they value,” Hammond told The Hippo. “Saying the state should draw no line doesn’t reflect reality. Hopefully we can have an intelligent debate [about] where that line can be. To say that the state doesn’t draw a line is demonstrably false.”
Hammond said he had filed charges of adultery against a third party in 2010 but was told by police that prosecutors wouldn’t investigate, claiming “prosecutorial discretion.”
“Everyone was passing the buck,” Hammond said. 
As seen in the January 22, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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